Britany Riley , Julia Sherman  //  8/11/17  //  Daily Update

Transgender service members challenge the President's proposed ban on military service by transgender people. The President talks about war with North Korea, and commentary ensues about whether the President legally could order a military strike there. And the Administration delays an Obama-era rule governing the relationship between financial advisers and their clients.



Five transgender service members are challenging President Trump’s proposed reversal of the military’s transgender service policy, writes Helen Klein Murillo (Lawfare). 

  • The complaint is available here. 



President Trump’s voter fraud commission risks being a target for hackers, reports Geoff Mulvihill (PBS Newshour). 



President Trump has escalated his warnings to North Korea, stating that his previous comments were possibly not harsh enough (NYT, WaPo, WSJ). 

  • Attacking North Korea would be illegal, writes Zachary Price at Take Care. 
  • Marty Lederman also thinks that President Trump cannot lawfully strike North Korea without congressional approval (Take Care). 
  • Nevertheless, President Trump might still launch an attack without congressional authorization, writes Ilya Somin (WaPo). 
  • The United States should not give up on diplomatic solutions to North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, argues Susan E. Rice (NYT).
  • If President Trump decides to launch of preemptive strike, his senior military advisers have few other options, notes Dan Lamothe (WaPo).
  • President Trump’s threats are clumsy and unlikely to change North Korea’s calculus or behavior, argues Eric Gomez at the Cato Institute. 
  • The New York Times provides an outline of self-defense and international law with regards to the situation in North Korea here. 

The Trump Administration is apparently considering whether to privatize a large portion of the war in Afghanistan (WaPo, USA Today). 

  • Such a plan would risk significant problems that could undermine the military’s mission, writes Laura Dickinson (Just Security). 



FCC Chairman Ajit Pai faces calls to recuse himself from FCC decision-making regarding capping prison phone call rates due to his relationship with former client and prison phone service provider Securus Technologies (Ars Technica). 



A Bipartisan health care fix is possible, but there are a number of talking points lawmakers should consider, suggest Joseph Antos and James Capretta on Health Affairs Blog.  

The Trump Administration requested a delay in implementation of the Obama-era rule requiring financial advisers to act in their customers’ best interest (NYT). 



Writing on his own blog, Eric Posner evaluates the chances that President Trump will be impeached.



The raid of former Trump advisor Paul Manafort’s home suggests that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation had probable cause to believe the search would uncover time-sensitive evidence of a crime, argues Julian Sanchez on Just Security. 

  • The President claims the raid was “pretty tough stuff.” (Politico)

President Trump thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for saving the U.S. money, after President Putin’s decision to expel a significant number of State Department staff from Russia (NYT, WaPo, Politico).

Daily Update | March 21, 2018

3/21/18  //  Daily Update

The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging a California law which requires “crisis pregnancy centers” to give information about abortion. The Koch network urged President Trump to accept an offer from congressional Democrats, which would give a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants and $25 billion for a border wall. A New York state judge denied a motion to dismiss filed by President Trump in a lawsuit by a woman who accused President Trump of sexually assaulting her, concluding that President Trump does not have immunity from suit in cases not involving official acts. Cambridge Analytica suspended its CEO after reports that the data analytics firm improperly accessed private Facebook user data during its work on behalf of the Trump campaign.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | March 20, 2018

3/20/18  //  Daily Update

Congressional negotiators are still negotiating the details of a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that must pass to avert a government shutdown on Friday. Chris Liddell has been named the new White House deputy chief of staff for policy. The Kushner Companies confirmed that Charles Kushner, Jared Kushner’s father, met with the Qatari finance minister three months into the Trump Administration and discussed funding for a financially troubled real estate project. The Supreme Court required Arizona to continue issuing drivers licenses to recipients of DACA. President Trump’s legal team has “provided the special counsel’s office with written descriptions that chronicle key moments under investigation in hopes of curtailing the scope of a presidential interview.”

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | March 19, 2018

3/19/18  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI. McCabe kept contemporaneous memos on his interactions with President Trump; he has given those memos to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. North Korean, South Korean, and U.S. officials will hold unofficial talks in Finland ahead of an expected U.S.-North Korean summit by the end of May. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review—the highest of the surveillance review courts—held that outside groups have a right to argue for access to sealed information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. President Trump made senior staff sign nondisclosure agreements meant to last beyond his presidency.